Some idea for Safcom or celtel…

Posted: July 9, 2008 in Random

MTN Ghana have introduced a very innovative product which i think Safaricom (or celtel) can adopt. Its called MTN Zone. The service gives Prepaid customers subscribers an opportunity to enjoy discount of up to 100% on calls to other MTN users day and night.

This is how it works

Depending on the number of users in a certain zone(s) at any particular time of making a call, you will receive a discount of certain percentage.  If there are very few people making calls at that particular time then be guaranteed of something between 70 – 100%! You are able to see (through cell broadcast) how much discount you are receiving before you make a call. The discount is applicable  all duration of that particular call.

So mathematically, if you are on tariff which charges 10 bob/minute and you get 90% discount, and your call last 5 minutes then you will only pay 5 bob for the call. And it’s on per second billing.

More information can be obtained here

Now this is something Safcom (or celtel) can adopt and can do away with these Offpeak/free calls manenos (if they haven’t thought about it already).

I however foresee some issues but nothing a good market survey cant help sort out.

  1. In CBD, they will be many calls at any particular time hence these subscribers will not get to enjoy this facility when they need it most
  2. Knowing Kenyans, the moment one initiates a call and sees 100%, guess what? Only a battery dying can make them disconnect! They will talk even to the neighbours mboch just to get the latest muchene from the neighbourhood!
  3. People in rural area may technically enjoy free calls throughout – hence no revenue through purchase of scrath cards (But how often do some of them buy it anyway? They make sure they have utilised their 5 flashbacks – please call me – daily!!!)
  4. And what if all the people receiving calls are in the same zone…? Ok highly unlikely… but still…

But on the brighter side, they will be no congestions at any time and this option will give people more freedom to call.

Haya Kazi kwenu Michael Joseph and……yeah..? (who’s the head honcho huko Celtel?). Lets see who does it first.

A thank you note and maybe a lucrative offer to work in your firm will be appreciated


Calls from here are generally cheap compared to Kenya (calling within Africa). With $1 you can call for almost 5 minutes. That is like Ksh 12 per minute (approx) compared to Kenya Ksh 50. Its even cheaper to call US, UK and China!


I have one issue with MTN – which i have put in their suggestion box.

I went to have GPRS on my phone activated and they charged me $5 for it. Then i had to buy credit of not less that $4.5 before i could start browsing on my phone.

My question to them is why the subscription fee? Shouldn’t the service be free so at encourage more people register hence more revenue in terms of charges for browsing? And then why the requirement to buy airtime/credit?

Am not sure how much it cost to browse (i was given the figure in pesewas – a unit of cedi) but i think its something like $0.25 per MB

Oh well, wont need it much – what with all these FREE Wi-fi around?


I have hooked myself with a 8GB iPhone – unlocked.

Its second hand but you wont see me minding…. and i practically got it for free. All i needed was to look for a buyer for my Nokia (which will be thouroughly missed) to match the offer and voila!

So far so good. I’m still getting used to these touch screen maneno

Haya, have a ‘free call’ day!

  1. Haiya, I’m first, for the first time ever!
    Are you saying you can call the U.S. from Kenya @ Ksh 12/minute from a cellphone? Some people are gonna get sued.
    This is old but if you and the call receiver (?) have internet access, you can do skype-skype calls sare.

  2. Kirima says:

    Cheap or free calls will spell disaster for any network in Kenya I remember a time not so far away when we had to switch off our phones cos people would call at odd hours of the night (drunk as well) just so that they can use the free time. But again if Safaricom lowered the costs wouldn’t it lower the billions of shillings of profit they snatch from our pockets.
    I will try not to be envious of your iphone.

  3. pinkmemoirs says:

    BTW, even Celtel TZ have these offers where they charge 1Tsh per minute 6pm-6am (I think), thats like how many KCents? I always wonder why Celtel Kenya is so expensive yet our VAT and Excise duty rates are lower than TZs. But no free calls please…we really suffered the last one month.

    Loving the Iphone. Enjoy!

  4. Yaani Africans- atii the only way they will hang up the call is if the battery is dying.

    On th Iphone………………………we will meet.That is all I have to say.

  5. bankelele says:

    product is too complex: I think mobile marketing in Kenya has to be simple, no grey area for mis-interpretation otherwise that will lead to bad-mouthing of the prduct. (if people call and don’t get the disount they anticpate (having been too lazy to understand the qualifications), then Safcom/celtel wil suffer

  6. 31337 says:

    droool. i cant wait for the 3G model to show up in Kenya, hopefully in October!

  7. Carol says:

    Please call me, thankyou!(I still have four remaining,he he!) Wacha complains na GPRS, mwafrika wewe,even after getting lots of offers,you still contest activation charges,hmm!
    Hiyo I phone is cute,will you sell it to me?For free?

  8. PILATO says:

    Lol @ 3TYPES OF CRAZY…in SA, Cell C network offers free calls from friday evenning to Monday Morning(midnight)…its good for broke chaps here juu they can get to call their girls on weekends

  9. valentia says:

    I heard ati Guinea Bissau has the highest number of I-phones in Africa..but err yeah…I’m missing free landline calls..sigh

  10. 3N says:

    good to see you got the Iphone, now you can touch touch instead of poking your messages and internet

  11. 31337 says:

    does it have facebook? superpoke gets new meaning….

  12. savvy says:

    am jealous of that i-phone. i want it, i want it

    ati touch touch? very funny…

  13. Milk shake. says:

    I hate free calls. How can someone who called u last year but 2 call u late at night, they know definately u must be asleep and say this, “Sasa, umenitupa sana , do you remember me? Am ‘so and so’ from &§*€. Blah blah blah! Is that your hand holding the phone? I’ll give you my address you send me that phone not any other but that one pleeeeese.

  14. bankelele says:

    i salute you for your prediction, but being a world traveler, you had advance warning (leakage) about the zoning product (and i guess safaricom been practising with bei ya kampo and bei ya masaku)

  15. Maxmay says:

    At first i did not really understand the zoning thing when it came into act with our safcon superongea tariff. I thot it quite technical, n the wordings used in the adverts were not getting into my not so thick head. Now am on top. Thanx for the prediction too.

  16. bomseh says:

    MTN SA has the MTN zone and on weekends and public holidays it is 90% almost the wholeday. Leo ni raha tupu.

  17. archer says:

    Kumbe uko na Vision 2030!!

  18. […] cheaperCommunications: leading mobile company Safaricom this week launched Super Ongea, a zoning tariff that eases congestion on the network by offering different rates from the then low 8 shillings per […]

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